The Hope In So Much More

However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” – the things God has prepared for those who love Him. – (1 Corinthians 2:9, NIV)

But as the Scriptures say, “No one has ever seen, no one has ever heard, no one has ever imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.” – (1 Corinthians 2:9, ERV)

But as the Scriptures say, No eye has ever seen and no ear has ever heard and it has never occurred to the human heart all the things God prepared for those who love Him. – (2 Corinthians 2:9, VOICE)

 

In the ebb and flow of life, it currently feels like a season of loss. Yesterday, I learned of the passing of one of my classmates from high school. We were friends on Facebook, and I was aware that she had some health challenges, but none so great that they would be life-ending. She leaves behind a husband and two children, and I am heartbroken for their loss. Additionally, I heard this past week, that the mother of a very dear lifelong friend had a massive stroke. The prognosis is grim, and my heart hurts for her kids, and her husband and best friend of more than fifty years. Two weeks ago, I attended the memorial for a wonderful lady from our church, who was about my age and lost her long battle with cancer. Her husband and four children, as well as her parents and siblings, are left with the ache of missing her. This morning, reading this verse, I am reminded anew of the hope for those who have passed or are on the verge. Each of these ladies know/knew Jesus, and I am comforted in the fact that where they are going is beautiful beyond what I can imagine – so much more than I have ever seen or heard. The same God who hung the stars, formed the majestic mountains, determined how far the sea can roll into the land, causes the sun to rise and set each day, has prepared a place far greater still. Though there is heartache and hurt for those left behind, there is great hope for those who have gone on to their eternal home. May we hold fast to the hope we know in the One who is holding us in His hands, and extend help, hope and love to those left behind in their space of great loss.

 

When I see such loss, Filled Each Morning

I find myself torn;

Between hurting hearts,

And hope in much more.

For my eye has seen,

Such beauty indeed;

Incredible views,

And heaven, exceeds.

Imagine the sights,

The angelic sound;

In the Lord’s presence,

Where all hope is found.

Embraced by Jesus,

As He ushers in;

All who have sought Him,

True glory begins.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the blessed hope that we have in You. Thank You that You have prepared a place for us that far exceeds anything that we could ever hope or imagine. Forgive us for our fears and doubts, as our eternal hope in You outweighs all. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would not fear our end on earth, but rather look forward with anticipation to our heavenly homecoming. Show us how to love those who are in hurting in the midst of great loss. Lead us to show Your heart in tangible ways, extending comfort and support. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we celebrate the homecoming of those entering Your kingdom, and comfort all who are grieving loss. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you. – 1 Peter 1:3-4

Born to Bloom

Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. – (2 Corinthians 2:15, NLT)

As far as God is concerned there is a sweet, wholesome fragrance in our lives. It is the fragrance of Christ within us, an aroma to both the saved and unsaved all around us. – (2 Corinthians 2:15, TLB)

We have become the unmistakable aroma of the victory of the Anointed One to God – a perfume of life to those being saved and the odor of death to those who are perishing. – (2 Corinthians 2:15, TPT)

 

As I sat here pondering this verse, the image that came to mind for me is that of beautiful, fragrant flowers. The gardener who tends to the plants to trim, water, fertilize and assure proper light, yields healthy plants that produce sweet scents. Contrarily, those who do not provide that which plants need, discover the scent of death and decay soon emit from the perishing perennials. People are comparable when it comes to our faith. If we invest time in our relationship with our Redeemer, we learn and grow and become more like Him. As we do, the love, grace and kindness we extend, become a sweet scent to our Savior, as well as to those who are seeking something more. However, when we neglect the need for investing time with the very One who created us, we begin to wither and rot, stuck with a stench of angst and impatience, anger and a serious lack of love. May we ever seek the nourishment of our Maker, as He provides the soil, water and light that we need to bloom and become the sweet scent of life to all those around us.

 

The sweet scent of life, born-to-bloom.jpg

Through hope and His grace;

Are what we offer,

As we seek God’s face.

A life invested,

In loving the Lord;

Is grown to produce,

Sweet scent that’s adored.

For loving kindness,

Goodness and His light;

Are grown within us,

As we choose delight.

With all that we are,

May we seek His face;

So, our lives smell sweet,

And extend His grace.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that a life invested in knowing and following You grows and develops us to give off the sweet scent of hope in You. Thank You that You cultivate this within us as we choose to seek You. Forgive us for neglecting time with You, as You are the One who removes the weeds and provides the water and sunlight. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would allow You room to come in and cultivate our lives into the fragrant offering You intended. Show us how to love those around us in a way that helps them breathe deeply from Your goodness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we delight in You, and allow You room to grow us so that we can bloom. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth (Moreno) Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:19

To Be a Sweet Scent

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. – (2 Corinthians 2:14)

 

Thanks be to God is the easiest portion for me to unpack. Simply put, all thanks belong to Him. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him, as He alone deserves our thanks and praise.

 

The next portion, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ, made me pause a moment to ponder what that might look like in my life. Triumphal procession is a victorious forward movement, fueled, equipped and strengthened by Christ. Every time we choose to walk out our faith, even in the dark and dismal spaces, we are participating in a triumphal procession in Christ.

 

As we obediently walk out our faith, we spread the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. For those who are ready to receive all that He has to offer, we are a sweet scent indeed. To those who deny the truth, we will not smell so sweet.

 

May we rise up and give all thanks to God, as He leads us in triumphal procession, spreading everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.

 

Give thanks unto God,Being a Sweet Scent

for He leads us on;

in triumph through Him,

to rise up, carry on.

He allows us each,

to spread His sweet scent;

the knowledge of Him,

leads lost to repent.

Each step we choose take,

forward for the Lord;

the fragrance of truth,

leaves darkness no more.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You lead us in triumphal procession in You, every time we choose to trust and follow You. Thank You that You allow us to spread the sweet scent of Your salvation through the way we live out our lives. Forgive us for not proceeding forward as You call, or for being an unsavory scent. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may boldly more forward in faith wherever You call. Lead us to love others in such a way, that Your truth cannot help but be recognized through us. May many come into a saving knowledge of You. Be glorified O God, as we rise up and give You thanks as You lead us in triumphal procession to spread Your fragrance wherever we go. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

May God Almighty grant you mercy. – Genesis 43:14

The Fragrance of Life

“But thanks be to God, Who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?” – (2 Corinthians 2:14-16)

 

When we give our lives to Christ, we are commissioned and sent out as His ambassadors to the world. His Holy Spirit enables us to speak His words, and it is Christ in us, that makes us competent and useful in carrying out our calling. On our own, we are ill-equipped to do all that He is asking. However, with Christ in us, there is nothing that He calls us to, that He will not also see us through. Rather than focus on what we lack, we ought to focus on our Source. He is the One equal to all tasks, so in and through Him, Thy will be done.

 

When we are in Christ,The Fragrance of Life

our scent is secure;

the sweet smell of grace,

He has made quite clear.

As we all go forth,

may we smell of life;

that turns lost to Him,

brings an end to strife.

For the Christ in us,

is who people see;

so let His light shine,

so captives are freed.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are gracious and kind, and that You use the least of us to touch the lives around us, if only we are willing. Thank You that when we invest in You, Your light is made evident in us. Forgive us for questioning our capacity to be utilized by You, or for getting in the way of what You want to accomplish in and through us. Teach us to trust You completely, and to recognize the possibilities presented by Your presence. Lead us to love as we are loved, and may many come to know the sweet fragrance of salvation in You. Be exalted, O God. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – Job 8:21